DAY 1 Kenmare to Bantry: 165km (120 miles)

Bid Kenmare goodbye and venture towards the Beera Pennisula, one of the wildest features of the Wild Atlantic Way. Plunging cliffs and soaring jagged hills dot this rugged landscape which is home to wiley locals who live in colourful houses. Explore the Allihies Copper Mine Museum before travelling on to Dursey island, a peculiar attraction that boasts Ireland’s only cable car. A perfect picnic spot, the island is easily walkable with stunning seascape vistas and a marvellous array of seabirds. Glengariff highlights include the intriguing Ewe Sculpture Garden and the charming garden island of Garinish with its clock tower and friendly seals. If you’re feeling peckish, Manning’s Emporium offers the best of gourmet Irish cuisine. End the day with afternoon tea at Bantry House, a country house with a decadent history overlooking Bantry Bay.

DAY 2 Bantry to Baltimore: 165km (102 miles)

Start the day with a refreshing walk to the tip of Sheep’s Head where you will be rewarded with breaktaking views from the lighthouse. Meander along the south of the pennisula and take your pick of the little pubs for a spot of lunch before driving on to Mizen Head, Ireland’s most southerly point. Adventurous spirits will love Mizen Head footbridge. Those with a fear of heights can get a thrill from spotting dolphins, whales and basking sharks. Journey southeast along this zigzagging coastline and be sure to stop en route to survey the majestic views of the mini-archipelago of islands. Abandon your car and take the ferry from Baltimore to Heir island for dinner at John Desmond’s renowned restaurant.

DAY 3 Baltimore to Kinsale: 179km (111 miles)

Baltimore’s illustrous history has made it a favourite of sailors for centuries. At Dún na Séad castle discover the 17th century story of the Sack of Baltimore, when North African pirates abducted 108 English settlers and locals, selling them into a life of slavery across the waters. Travel on to Skibereen, Ireland’s most southerly town where you can catch a boat to Inchydoney Island. Stop at Clonakilty for a delcious artisan lunch and some alternative traditional music in the local pubs before heading on to the Old Head of Kinsale. Old it may be, this headland is one of the Wild Atlantic Way’s most iconic vistas and a daring location for a golf course. Play a round or go whale watching with Nic Slocum and his crew from Whale Watch West Cork. Keep your eyes peeled for risso dolphins, and minke, fin and humpback whales as they play along the Cork coastline. Kinsale is your final destination on this epic voyage. Once a medieval fishing port, today the town is one of Ireland’s leading culinary capitals. Savour your memories over a scrumptious supper at the famous Fishy Fishy Café and start plotting your new adventure.

Route Map